Monday, December 6, 2010

EReaders and Ebooks

i wonder when text books be available on Ereaders? that would be a real blessing for the disabled, but then again i'm sure they would be five times the cost! when i started college someone read my books onto tap. then they were cut up and scanned to cd. i also got books the blind, are books for the blind online yet?

Vanessa Maxwell Tucker Dan, I believe that most are already available through the following two resources: NIMAS and www.bookshare.org. I don't know regarding all ereaders but the availability has never been better. Yes, the books for the blind fall under this category as well.

Vanessa Maxwell Tucker http://aim.cast.org/

Vanessa Maxwell Tucker Sorry...I feel like I'm spamming but here's one more: http://www.nimac.us/

Daniel Keplinger no, you are not spamming. i like links i collect them and share them. it is amazing how many resources there are and a lot of people don't know about them. thanks

Daniel Keplinger The Gargantuan Textbook Tablet http://ow.ly/3gOWh

Daniel Keplinger Google Editions E-Reader Service to be launched in US by the Year End http://bit.ly/hTFotg

Friday, November 26, 2010

Yes, I'm textor

I wonder if one-day cell phones plans would offer more text messages compare to minutes. It would be helpful for the disabled, I know I send more text then I do talk. Not only because my phone is not working at the moment, but in geranial its easier. Now I see commercial for things as life link that are available for people that have low income, or disabled. I don't think that would do much good for me, since I am more of a text person.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Finding New Rides

As some of you know Dena and I sit on the Ellene "Brit" Christiansen fund board that promotes making art more accessible for the disabled. We were contact by a student at MICA that is also in need of a new manual chair. Being that I went through this myself less then a year ago, I know how frustrating this is not having funds for a new wheel chair. I know UCP has something like a wheel chair, but I think most of them are kids sizes. Would anyone have any ideas of where to find low cost, or donated wheel chairs?

Wheelchair Foundation is a global network that gather donations and distributes wheelchair.
http://www.wheelchairfoundation.org/

Whirlwind Wheelchair International teaches how to build strong low cost wheelchairs to be used in underdeveloped countries.
http://www.whirlwindwheelchair.org/

Wheelchair Recycler - Collects, refurbish and re-issue used power wheelchairs at little or no expense to the new user.
http://wheelchairrecycler.org/

Wheelchairs for Iraqi Kids provides pediatric wheelchairs for disabled children of Iraq.
http://www.wheelchairsforiraqikids.com/

Used Wheelchairs USA:
Gently Used Electric Wheelchairs
-- Sells/buys/rents used
power electric wheel chairs: motorized Pride Mobility Jazzy/Jet/Quantum
and Invacare Pronto powerchairs.

Secondhand and Used Wheelchairs and Disability Equipment Classifieds
http://www.apparelyzed.com/disability-equipment/

Easy Med Online
http://www.easymedonline.com/used-power-wheelchairs-and-mobility-scooters/

Art Blog, Perfect Studio Day

Last Tuesday Dena and I both got up early, she had to deliver some jewelry and I wanted to do some art. I just knew it was going to be a good art day when I put on my studio close and Dena started to make coffee.
I keep thinking of the scene from Pollock where his “wife” handed him the coffee as he goes out off the house and changes his shoes when in the barn. Dena and I used to do the same routine when I was in grad school, but I had a longer walk.
I worked for 6 hours, so I could finish the piece that was just waiting for me. I took my phone with me, in case I wanted to text. The only thing I didn’t have was music, the iPod was dead.
After working I cleaned up and change into some sweats to relax the rest of the night.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Art Blog


So I had a meeting on Friday at Gougher College in Baltimore. They have a new art gallery for local artist. It is more through their community out reach program. I will be the first artist to exhibit there in February, being a true artist I said I would do 10 new pieces by the hang date. 


Now my ass needs to get motivated, I have been thinking of issuing Dena a Chile challenge, since she knows what happened in the studio after we get back from Chile. Plus our coffee pot broke!


I also plan to keep an artist blog to show what really go goes into putting a show together. As I said before it is not just the work that I put on the walls.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Advise For Future Teachers

This question came from a professor that just showed King Gimp to their class. Do you have any suggestions for my students as they go out into their own classrooms, especially in the area of communicating with families? Or any other suggestions in teaching children with special needs?

Being a teacher is not much unlike being an artist, they both are fields that do not offer monetary wealth. The riches come from the rewards that come from how others benefits from your passions.
No matter how long you are in this field, I encourage you to always be a student. I have been disabled since birth, an artist since 16 and I still learn about new services and tools to help me through life.
Always be challenged to work as a team with piers, parents, and students that will bring success in your field to always grow with knowledge.

Monday, October 25, 2010

FEB Disability Employment and Awareness Training Conference/ Iowa National Rehabilitation Institute Conference

It was another double header week, on Wednesday we spoke at the FEB Disability Employment and Awareness Training Conference and the next day we flew to Iowa for the Iowa National Rehabilitation Institute Conference. The first engagement was straightforward, just go do my thing and give people a lot to think about. As we pull in the parking lot Dena was amazed to see how they reserved a space for us.

The audience was made of federal workers and Veterans; after I did my speech I was given a challenge coin. I was told that this coin should be with me at all times, because any officer could ask to see it. If I could not produce my coin, I would need to do 50 push-ups. I am of course shooting myself in the toe by putting this out there.

Another attendee so happened to work with Paul Perrooka years ago and I knew Paul from the school bus and other circles. After the gentleman heard my address, he felt bad that he did not give Paul more opportunities in life, or to express himself. My response was now he has a new approach for his current and future clients.

The next day Dena and I wear off to Iowa for the National Rehabilitation Institute Conference. Due to a schedule conflict, we could not arrive until the second day. It really work to our advantage, before we went to the hotel we stopped at Wal—mart. I am sure the students that picked us up from the airport, loved seeing Dena walk to the car with beer. We got to the hotel just in time for lunch and some awards that the association gives out.

When I am asked to give the keynote address, at the last minute I always hope that my topic is portinate to the conference? That is what I liked about speaking on the last day of this conference. It must of really helped, since one attendee already ask me to come back to Iowa to present at a different conference.

I always say, I am more then just going to speak. Dena and I like to be social and that night started with some board games and a Celtic band, they played Danny boy by request. We showed up with our room’s ice bucket full of ice and beer. So groups should not worry when things get a bit wild. You are getting together with friends and piers that you see once a year. I am sure everyone has a kinggimp story, or 6.
When the last speaker and I were done the next morning, everyone was gone by 2. So Dena and I had quiet night to our selves!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Personal Care Providers on Colleges Campus

I have received an email from a public school teacher in MD. They have a student graduating next spring, he gets one on one help in school for academics and personal support the whole day. The student has been to DORS for a vocational evaluation, they suggest he goes to a community college. The student likes that idea and will start next fall. The problem is that while the student is on campus how can obtain personal care providers? I know colleges only have to provide academic support. Should DORS provide this for him, I know they do that in rare situation on the job site. The teacher also contacted DDA, they said services cannot obtain until he is 21. Has anyone been in the same predicament, or have any ideas of resources of funding? Any ideas would be welcome.

Update
10/25/10

It just so happens that last week Dena and I went to a state's Rehabilitation association conference. I took to ask someone about this situation, this is the reply:

They should work with DORS to see if they would be able to provide the supports. If they are a client of DORS and their Individualized Plan for Employment supports education then they should be able to work with them to find the supports. Their counselors should talk through all of this with them. Just tell them they need to ask all the questions and advocate for what they want. The teacher may be able to get a release to talk with the counselor at DORS to talk about the services and supports the individual received while in K-12.

Update
10/26/10
Some ideas from Penn-Mar Human Services

Do you know if he has applied for Medical Assistance? I know they provide a few hours a week of personal care.

LISS could help him on a short term basis for up to 45 days per year…

Has DORS said no to helping him with the hours?

look at this website for resources: http://www.thinkcollege.net/

Make sure his Service Coordinator is actively seeking resources, that is what they are there for!

Good Luck and please let us know if there is anything else we can do or help with. If you want to help him apply for LISS funds, they can email the department at LISS@penn-mar.org

Updat
10/27/10
REM stands for Radical Emergency Medical Care for more information contact the Transition DDA Specialist mescott@comcast.net

The STEP Program is a program for someone no longer in the school system and is between 18 and 20,wants to work and is DD eligible through DDA. Their focus is on jobs. It is a small program which leads me to believe it might be relatively new. I think the focus might be for students who fall into a black hole when they leave school at 18 and are not eligible for GTYI funding until 21.

I could not find links for STEP, or GTYI.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Feed Up

i will be so glad when the election is over, it just brings out the ugly in everyone. start reform by stoping attack ads, they suck. i want hear how you can improve lives. everyone needs to learn how to accept one another no matter race, religion, sex, sexuality, or disability. this is america the melting pot, "united" we stand.

Monday, October 18, 2010

What a tiresome, but wonderful weekend.......

What a tiresome, but wonderful weekend we had. On Saturday we attended the second annual I Love Me workshop at the League that was sponsored by the Ellene “Brit” Christiansen Memorial Fund. http://britmemorial.com/ This event helps women build self esteem though art and other workshops on body image. Being one of the only men there I sat in the corner, looking at my beautiful wife as she help. Once again I could not stop thinking what a luck man I am to have Dena as my partner in this crazy life.


Sunday we were in Arlington, VA for the CP Group Conference. http://www.thecpgroup.org/ this is truly an amazing group of people that come today and talk about every day issues. We were asked to show King Gimp for their movie night. This was the most emotional viewing of King Gimp ever, because every one could relate to my story from the schooling to relationships.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

FINALLY! Telling Gravity Where To Go


All of my life I wanted to do stuff that defies gravity, as jumping off our clubhouse roof, for a couple seconds of freedom. Also life risking sports as hang gliding, or parachuting. I guest it has been a way to give my body a break from the fight of gravity, or the ultimate lack of control that everyone feels when doing these sports.
I finally got to go on a zip line when we were in Tenn. It took us three tries to set it up, but was worth the wait. The first time we went to Wahoo Zip line http://www.wahoozip.com/ we were too late for that run. Went back the first thing in the morning and they did not have enough staff. So we set up to go later that day. Have you ever seen the harness that one needs to put on. It is a full body harness, so when you are on the line it holds you like a baby sling. That was the only thing I was worry about, could I lean back wards and turn up side down but I could not.
As we pulled up to the first tower, they said I could not do all the lines because of access to the towers. I am sure other people would be mad since they paid full price. Not me, because the staff has to work twice as hard carrying my ass up and down the towers, Dena and I were driven from tower to tower in a bob cat cart and I still got to go on the best line of the course. Even if I only went on one line, it would have been worth the experience.
It was not scare getting hooked in and I was really relaxed. You would think my body would be super wired, but it was nice and calm. When I was on the line my body just felt like jello, taking the shape of the harness and flowing into the wind. I really did not keep any memories of my body fighting. I was just there enjoying the ride.
The staff was great the hole time, when we got back to the office they all signed a T-shirt for me. That day was to put the human back into everyone’s soul.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

This is Why Gimps Get Peeved at society.

I went to work with Dena and at the end of her shift, she had to run a quick arien. I was waiting for her to get back in the lobby, at max she was gone for 20 minutes. The building staff started to get nervous. I started to get closer to the stairs to tell them, Dena would be back. They started to get all freaky that, I was going to fall down the stairs. As soon as I heard this I backed away from the stairs.

You would think they could make the connection since I moved when they expressed their concerns. The doorman said he had to stay with me, as if I needed a baby sitter. I was getting mad so I tried to remove myself from the situation, because this is Dena’s place of work. So I went back up stairs to her friend’s apartment and sat in the hall until Dena returned and the doorman followed me.

I was getting upset; Dena has worked in this building for 5 years. So they knew who I am and I am sure they have heard about me none stop.

Dena still had to unload the car and go up five floors, so that takes time. I am sitting out front waiting for Dena unloading around back. The next thing I see is a police car pull up and sure enough it was about me. They said it was over concern that I was cold, since it was a chilly night. At least this time the police talk to me and saw that I was all right.

This was so ridiculous, when I do need help, people will act like they cannot see me. When it becomes a question of responsibility, or effect their pockets they want me gone.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Not a true blog, but still usefull

Link
The UCP Elsie S. Bellows Fund

  • Wheelchairs (manual and electric)
  • Computer equipment
  • Lifts in the nominee’s own/parent’s van or home
  • Hearing aids


Please check out these jeans for wheelchair users designed by a wheelchair user?  Who would know what would work better then being her on client.

The IMAGE Center of Maryland - Changing the Meaning of Disability for Everyone
300 E. Joppa Road, Suite 302, Towson, MD 21286 · Get Directions
Phone
1 410.982.6311
Website
http://www.imagemd.org/

 
Developmental Disabilities Administration Low Intensity Support Services (LISS)

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Low Intensity Support Services (LISS)?
Low Intensity Support Services (LISS) - formerly known as Rolling Access- are support services established under Maryland Health-General Article ñ7-717. The program is designed to enable a family to provide for the needs of a child or an adult with developmental disabilities living in the home or to support an adult with developmental disabilities living in the community. LISS Services are flexible to meet the needs of individuals or families.


Is LISS the same across the State?

Yes. The process for accessing LISS funding is the same in every cotmty in Maryland.

How is the program funded?

The Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) funds this program with State only funding.

Who administers the LISS program?
The DDA contracts with five DDA licensed Family and Individual Support Service providers to administer the program. LISS providers, their contact information, and the county they provide services for is listed at the bottom.

Who can apply for LISS?

Maryland residents who have a developmental disability or their family can apply.

Does every person with a developmental disability get help?

No, because there is a limited amount of funding available.

Is there an application?

The program uses a request form to gather the necessary infomation about the person and the services they are seeking. Individuals must complete a Medical Assistance application unless the service is for a minor.

Do I have to provide any other information?

People applying will need proof that they are a resident of Maryland and have a developmental disability.

Do I have to provide information about my income?

The infomation is optional and does not impact eligibility or service decisions. The data collected allows DDA to report to Legislators how these funds benefit people with disabilities and their families.

Where can l get the LISS Request Form?
The form can be found on the DDA Web site, www.ddamaryIand.org or by calling any of the LISS providers attached. If you have a DDA resource coordinator, they can also help provide a copy of the form.

How do I apply for LISS?

By completing the LISS Request Form and submitting it to a LISS provider.


Grants for Assistive Technology

Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf
If your child is under 6 and has a moderate to profound hearing loss, you can apply for money to pay for intervention, educational and/or rehabilitation services. There is also money available for children with hearing loss between the ages of 5 and 19 to attend art or science courses during the summer, weekends, or even after school. For more information, contact: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf, 3417 Volta Place, NW, Washington, DC 20007; Telephone: 202-337-5220, TTY: 202-337-5221. http://www.agbell.org/financialaid.cfm
Association of Blind Citizens
Assistive Technology Matching Grants
The Association of Blind Citizens has established the Assistive Technology Fund. The Assistive Technology Fund (ATF) will provide funds to cover 50%of the retail price of adaptive devices or software. The ABC board of directors believes that this program will allow blind and visually impaired individuals to access to technology products that will have a significant impact on improving employment opportunities, increase the level of independence and enhance their overall quality of life. The products covered by this program must retail for a minimum of $200 with a maximum retail price of $6,000. Persons eligible to apply for assistance must have a family income of less than $50,000 and cash assets of less than $20,000. Applications will be reviewed by the Assistive Technology Committee (ATC) and recommendations will be submitted for board approval. If applicants are selected to receive a technology grant, applicants will be asked to provide documents such as tax returns, bank statements and any other documents that the ABC board or its designee would deem necessary to assess financial need for the grant. Applicants must be legally blind and a resident of the United States to qualify for this program. Applications must be submitted by June 30th, September 30th and December 31st for each grant period (three per year). Applicants will be notified if their request for a grant is approved. Applicants may submit one request per calendar year. All applications must be submitted via e-mail. You will be notified by ABC within 45 days after the application deadline. http://www.blindcitizens.org/assistive_tech.htm
Developmental Disabilities Administration
State agency that provides grants for people with developmental disabilities who have a highly urgent need for services. www.ddamaryland.org
• Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA)- Central Maryland
410-902-4509
Serving Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Wicomico, Talbot, Somerset, Queen Anne's, and Kent County.
• Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA)- Southern Maryland
1-888-207-2479, 301-362-5100
Serving Calvert, Charles, St. Mary's, Prince George's, and Montgomery County.
• Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA)- Western Maryland
1-888-791-0193, 301-791-4670
Serving Allegany, Carroll, Fredrick, Garrett, and Washington County.

Disabled Children’s Relief Fund (DCRF)
DCRF focuses special attention on helping children throughout the U.S. that do not have adequate health insurance, especially the physically challenged. In some cases, DCRF may be the last resort. DCRF grant applications may be used for modest awards for assistive devices, rehabilitative services, arts and humanities projects, or for efforts to bolster compliance with existing laws for the benefit of children with disabilities. Applications may be submitted by families (parent or guardian) for an individual child, or by a non-profit organization for a small group of children. Applications are available between April and September.
www.dcrf.com

Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS)
Under their Vocational Rehabilitation Program, DORS provides grants for vehicle adaptations and other assistive technology necessary for an individual to return to work or continue employment with a job. Under their Independent Living Program, DORS helps individuals with disabilities live independent lives; may provide grants for assistive technology. An individual should call their local DORS office and open a case to be considered for any DORS assistance. 1-888-554-0334 (Central Office, ask for an office near you) www.dors.state.md.us

HIKE Fund, Inc. - Hearing Impaired Kids Endowment
Any hearing impaired person between the ages of newborn and twenty years, with financial need, may apply for a hearing aid. With proper application, other hearing devices, as needed, on an individual basis may be considered for funding. Included may be enclosed caption converters for television, tactile units, FM units (into which a hearing aid is plugged for amplification), computers to assist deaf children in communicating, as well as other technical devices may be prescribed. Supported by the International Order of Job's Daughters.
352-688-2579 (FL), http://www.thehikefund.org/

Jill Fox Memorial Fund: The Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore
Jill Fox is a last resort grant, which grants funds for extraordinary needs of individuals who cannot otherwise obtain the necessary funds to meet these expenses. Their average grant is $400. A referral is required. All grant requests must be made on behalf of individuals by health care professionals, hospitals, or community-based social workers. Individuals should not call Jill Fox directly for information; only the person making the referral should contact them directly. The individual making the referral can call Jill Fox directly at 410-727-4828 x322. Individuals seeking a referral can have their local Center for Independent Living (CIL) refer them. MD TAP can provide individuals with their local CIL’s contact information. MD TAP can be reached at 1-800-832-4827 (Voice) or 1-866-881-7488 (TTY).

Kya’s Krusade
Contacts: Kylie Miles – kylie@kyaskrusade.org or 614-735-9703, Ashandra McLymont – ashandra@kyakrusade.org or 614-323-6399
Offers financial assistance to families for additional physical and occupational therapy sessions and equipment that are not covered by insurance. Eligibility requirements: (1) the child must be under 18 years old and have a confirmed diagnosis of Arthrogryposis or a less publicized physical disability, (2) the physical or occupational therapist must be licensed and registered with the American Physical Therapy Association or the American Occupational Therapy Association, and (3) the equipment must be available at the time of the request, from a verified retailer. www.kyakrusade.org

MDA-ALS, Friedreich's Ataxia, Oculo-pharyngeal Muscular Disorder Communications Fund
MDA is helping to pay for communications technology for people who are primarily affected with ALS, Friedreich's ataxia, and oculo-pharyngeal muscular disorder and over 30 other neuromuscular disorders which cause muscle weakness and extends to the tongue and muscles involved in speech. MDA will allow up to $2,000 for the one-time purchase of an augmentative communication device. Purchase may be covered by Medicare or Medicaid but MDA will assist with the costs not covered. For more information contact Paula Orandash at 800-393-8552.

M.O.R.G.A.N. Project, Inc. – Quality-of-Life (QOL) Grant Program
QOL grants provide families with a wide variety of supports related to their medically fragile child with lifetime physical special needs. Applications will be accepted only for children under the age of 18. The grant does not pay medical bills, insurance premiums or out of pocket expenses, partial funding, nor provide funds for therapy, schooling or emergency assistance. Examples of qualifying requests would be uncovered DME-type items (such as an adaptive shower chair or an adaptive car seat), or travel expenses to attend a medical conference or support group meeting (such as airfare, hotel room, meals, etc.) in order to network with other families in the same situation. Currently this cap is set at a maximum of $1,000 per recipient, and subject to available funds. The average grants approved are between $250 and $500 per recipient. If you meet our organization's criteria and have all the documentation items required, then you can apply to be pre-qualified online at http://www.themorganproject.org/Grants1.html.


Multiple Sclerosis Foundation: Brighter Tomorrow Grant Program
The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of those diagnosed with MS. The Brighter Tomorrow Grant is an award of up to $1,000 to provide goods or services that will help improve the quality of life of someone with MS. In past years, the program has provided items for improved daily life such as appliances, personal items, car repairs, and home modification. Education and improved health and well-being were also encouraged through the presentation of exercise equipment and classes, hobby supplies, and financial assistance for educational purposes. Recipients desiring greater independence have received wheelchairs, ramps, and other assistive technology equipment. Deadline for grant applications is October 1st. http://www.msfocus.org/programs_events/prog_grants_bwmg.html

Multiple Sclerosis Society
The MS Society provides partial grants to individuals with multiple sclerosis for assistive technology and durable medical equipment. A prescription is needed. There is a $400 fiscal year cap on grants. The MS Society can be reached at 410-527-1770 (Central MD), 410-543-0007 (Eastern Shore), or 301-228-3808 (Western Maryland). www.nmss.md.org

Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA)
MDA provides grant money to individuals with muscular dystrophy or one of 42 other neuromuscular disorders.
Eligible individuals can receive up to $200 is available for occupational therapy evaluations. Additionally, individuals can receive a one-time payment, every five years that is up to $2,000 of individual’s cost for augmentative communication devices, wheelchairs, leg braces, etc. Up to $500 per year is available for individual’s costs for wheelchair repairs and modifications. MDA can be reached at 410-494-7072 (Baltimore area) or 1-888-484-7072 (toll-free). www.mdausa.org

Muscular Dystrophy Family Foundation (MDFF)
MDFF is a fund of last resort. All other available funding must be exhausted before or used in conjunction with MDFF. Applicants must have one of 43 neuromuscular diseases or dystrophies covered under the MDFF program. Grants are provided for: purchase and repairs of equipment, respiratory devices, camperships, accessibility and vehicle modifications. If item is paid for by more than 50%, the item is considered property of MDFF and must be returned when no longer needed. Insurance deductibles do not qualify. Maximum amount for ramp grants is $5,000 (only temporary ramps are allowed for rental properties). Maximum for vehicle modifications is $4,000. Maximum for home modifications is $5,000. Payment is made directly to the vendor. Call 1-800-544-1213 for an application. Find MDFF online at www.mdff.org.

National Transplant Assistance Fund & Catastrophic Injury Program (NTAF)
NTAF talks with patients to determine whether or not fundraising is feasible given their unique circumstances. NTAF can help tailor a plan to meet both ambitious and modest fundraising goals, and can work with fundraising groups both large and small -- even if the committee comprises only the patient and a few family members or friends. NTAF will help patients and their volunteers develop everything from tribute sheets with a personal and persuasive story, to online donation materials, flyers, press coverage and other materials. Once patients read through the material NTAF provides and decide to fundraise with our organization, patients begin planning individually-tailored fund-raising campaigns with their NTAF patient services coordinators. Patients complete an application which includes questions concerning financial need. This application is reviewed by a transplant or catastrophic injury medical professional who adds relevant insurance information. Funds raised come to NTAF where they are held in Regional Restricted Funds in honor of the patient, for the region where the patient lives, together with other funds raised in that region. Once the completed application demonstrating financial need has been approved, a patient may submit a request for assistance (Fund Request Form) with appropriate proof of expense. The NTAF Board of Directors has final approval over the disbursement of funds, based upon patient financial need. NTAF charges a 4% administrative charge on all funds raised. Contact NTAF at 1-800-642-8399 for more information. http://www.transplantfund.org/

TPA Scholarship for Deaf and Near Deaf
http://www.travelersprotectiveasn.com/
The Travelers Protective Association of America established the TPA Scholarship Trust for the Deaf and Near Deaf in 1975 to provide financial aid to children and adults who suffer deafness or hearing impairment and who need assistance in obtaining mechanical devices, medical or specialized treatment or specialized education as well as speech classes, note takers, interpreters, etc. and in other areas of need that are directly related to hearing impairment. Completed application must be returned to the Trust by March 1st each year. Trustees review all applications on file in April, notify recipients in May and scholarship checks are mailed after August 1st.

Travis Roy Foundation
Provides individual grant funds to modify vans and to purchase wheelchairs, computers, ramps, shower chairs, and other adaptive equipment to help paraplegics and quadriplegics live their lives. Applications are accepted year-round and are considered at quarterly Trustee meetings. Grants typically range from $4,000 to $7,500; there is no minimum award. Assistance is awarded to paraplegics or quadriplegics paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury (Please Note: paralysis must be due to a spinal cord injury; paralysis due to other causes, such as MS or spina bifida, is not eligible). Applicants must demonstrate financial need and may be required to provide documentation. There is no age requirement. Applicants must reside in the United States. Applications are available online at http://www.travisroyfoundation.org/pages/grants.html and should be mailed to: Travis Roy Foundation, Attn: Brenda Taylor, Foundation Coordinator, 111 Huntington Avenue, Prudential Center, 19th Floor, Boston, MA 02199-7613. No phone calls are accepted.

United Cerebral Palsy Equipment Fund
United Cerebral Palsy of Central Maryland, Inc.
Provides grants to individuals with Cerebral Palsy and physical disabilities.
Average grant: $300
No referral is required. Call directly for an application.
410-574-7696 ext. 217

United Healthcare Children’s Foundation
To be eligible, families must reside in the United States and be covered by a commercial health insurance plan; Medicare and Medicaid do not qualify. The child must be 16 years old or younger. Generally, awards will be granted to individuals in families whose adjusted gross income per individual does not exceed $20,000. The Foundation provides financial assistance toward the family's share of the cost of medical services. These grants, up to $5,000, can help families pay for the costs associated with therapies such as speech, physical and psychotherapy sessions; for medical equipment such as wheelchairs, braces, hearing aids and eye glasses; and for orthodontia and dental treatments. The amount awarded to an individual within a 12-month period is limited to either $5,000 or 10% of 85% of the fund balance, whichever amount is less. Awards to any one individual are limited to a lifetime maximum of $7,500. Apply online at http://www.unitedhealthcarechildrensfoundation.org/apply.html.

Veteran’s Administration (VA)
The VA helps veterans to obtain prosthetics, hearing aids, eyeglasses, low vision aids, guide dogs, adapted computers, housing modifications and vehicle modifications. Contact the VA at 1-800-827-1000. www.va.gov


Service Organizations

Check your local service organizations such as the following for mini-grants for assistive technology: Business and Professional Women's Associations, Exchange Club, Kiwanis, Elks, Lions, SERTOMA, JayCees, Church Groups, "A Dream Come True", "Make-A-Wish", Masons/Shriners, Churches, Knights of Columbus, and the Quota Club.

- The Benevolent & Protective Order of the Elks-
The Elks offer many services available to veterans. http://www.elks.org/
Check out their website for local lodges near you at http://www.elks.org/lodges/default.cfm

- Maryland Jaycees-
Since 1933 the Baltimore Junior Association of Commerce has been helping professionals age 22-40 develop leadership skills through community service by involving young professionals in civic, government and business organizations and working as a team to accomplish common goals. Today the BJAC organizes community and business activities that make Baltimore a better city in which to live, work, and play. The projects and programs of the BJAC provide its membership with rewarding opportunities for involvement in many areas of life in Baltimore. Locate your local chapter detail at http://www.mdjaycees.org/ or call the Maryland Service Center at 410-876-1244.

- Lions Clubs International
Services provided by Lions clubs for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing include: hearing awareness, hearing screenings, communications aids for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, recreational camps for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, support for the Deaf or hard of hearing community. http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/content/programs_hear.shtml
Many Lions Clubs also provide vocational assistance to persons who are legally blind. The international office refers requests for equipment or other assistance to the appropriate district offices.
Look for a Lion’s Club in your area by using the Club Locator on the website.
http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/content/resources_club.shtml
The Lions Clubs International can be reached at (800) 747-4448. www.lionnet.com

- Kiwanis Club International
Kiwanis Club International is a thriving organization of service and community-minded individuals who support children and young adults around the world. Kiwanis International can be reached at (317) 875-8755 (IN). Find your local club information on their website at http://www.kiwanis.org/.

- Knights of Columbus Headquarters
Catholic men's fraternal benefit society that was formed to render financial aid to members and their families. Mutual aid and assistance are offered to sick, disabled and needy members and their families. Knights are Catholic men, 18 years of age and older, who are committed to making their community a better place, while supporting their Church. In the past decade, the Knights have raised and donated nearly $1 billion to numerous charitable causes and volunteered nearly 400 million hours of service. The Knights of Columbus Headquarters can be reached at (203) 752-4000 or info@kofc.org. http://www.kofc.org/index.cfm

- The National Exchange Club
Exchange's Program of Service is divided into the categories of Americanism, Community Service and Youth, with Child Abuse Prevention emphasized as our national program. If you would like to arrange to visit a club meeting, contact National Headquarters, at 800-924-2643, or e-mail nechq@aol.com for more information. http://www.nationalexchangeclub.com/
Maryland Clubs: 1555 Baltimore, 1556 Highlandtown-Baltimore, 1557 Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 1560 Catonsville, 1563 Fruitland, 1565 Hagerstown, 1566 Antietam-Hagerstown, 1568 Liberty and Owings Mills, 1569 Salisbury.

- SERTOMA (SERvice TO Mankind)
SERTOMA’s primary service project is assisting the more than 50 million people with speech, hearing and language disorders. Every year SERTOMA clubs raise more than $20 million for local community service projects. Through these projects, as well as grants and scholarships, SERTOMA clubs return those funds to their respective communities. Local clubs will often “adopt” a person who needs hearing aids or other AT related to speech, hearing and language disorders. SERTOMA International can be reached at 816-333-8300 (MO) or you can email infosertoma@sertoma.org to have a Sertoman in your community contact you with information on a club near you.

- Quota Club International
An international service organization that links members of all ages, occupations, and nationalities in a worldwide network of service and friendship. The Quota Club can be reached at 202-331-4395 or staff@quota.org. Their Maryland clubs are currently in Cambridge, Ocean City, and Salisbury. http://www.quota.org/

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gimp Is trible and Strong!

I often get asked what is the correct terminology when referring to one’s disability. I question to myself if I am the right person to offer my opinion. Don’t forget I am the guy that introduced him self as king gimp to millions of people around the world. At first the producer really did not know what to think of the name. They asked if I really want people on the street to call me gimp, sure why not.

Then my mom did not like the name, because it referred to being homosexual. I asked around in my many circles of friends and none of them have heard of this. Maybe in some under ground fetish culture, like in Pulp Fiction gimp does label some one’s sexuality. But ten years later I still have not heard gimp used in that way.

Then there is the opposite end of the spectrum, in the age of political correctness people demanded not to call a disability an illness, decease, or condition. I guest, they wanted a disability by its prober name, so should I get upset when people say that I have M.S. and not C.P. No Dena and I just take the time to explain the difference between the two.

According to the lawyer on T.V., C.P./Cerebral Palsy is a very expensive mistake! Yes, life with a disability is expensive, but not a mistake. It is a challenge to make life more interesting. I think if from the start the family and the disable person look at this as a mistake. They are sure to fail in life for not accepting the challenge and live life to the fullest.

When I was about 14 I would go to camp and I saw a shirt that had X over dis in the word disability. To this day I still cannot figure that out, because it was like cutting off a part of who I am. I think of my disability, it help makes me the person that I am and would not have it any other way.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

An OT Class Project

I often receive emails from students in every field of study and professionals from various fields. I do not mind repeating my advice, I figured, if I keep blogs with general ideas they can email me questions that are more in depth. This week a class of OT students saw the film and now are doing a project on me.

“We just have a few questions for you. Have you ever participated in occupational therapy? If so, from your perspective, what advice can you give us regarding the relationship between the therapist and client? For example, what qualities do you like to see or admire about OT? What are things you remember most from your interaction with OT, whether positive or negative?”

I regularly received OT until the age of 13. Most of it was benefit, I learn how to use the head stick for typing, art and other things. I also work on using the straw and I still use these skills today. The other day I was eating a yogurt and Dena said how cute it was that I stuck my tongue out when she put the spoon in my mouth. Yeah but if you were an OT, you be going nuts from the tongue thrust.

I think, as kids get older they should become more of the team and have some input. I might have been shown a new solution to a problem. When I got home I may use the same tools, but find a new way to use that tool. I was about 22 before I could but my head stick on by myself. I just got home with a device that held the head stick up for me. It broke the first time I used it. I figured out to wedge it between my desk and keyboard so I could just slide my head into it.

I only had one thing that I really hated in OT. When I was about 7, they tried me taking myself to the bathroom. At that time jeans still had snaps, so I could undo that. They put a ring on my zipper; even at that age I was aware how other people see me. Why make myself more odd with rings on my pants zippers. Now I just buy my pants a bit loose, I can just slip them up and down.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Lets Ride



It was always the same story, every time we wanted to go horse riding. The stable always would say we only take disabled people around the ring not on trails. This was not the case at Five Oaks Riding Stables. They were even going let me ride by myself, but I could not manage. Although the stable manager did see that I did get the right horse that could handle me.

When it was decided that I need a second rider, we changed horses. The hole time my horse Mrs. Penny love to walk on the edge of the trail. My second did not try to correct the horse, he trust the horse and just added to the experience. At one point of the trail he pointed out where he was thrown by a horse. This was not something Dena wanted to hear.

Although our guides were relaxed they did of plans if something happened. The lead guide said he only had to throw his rains on the ground and his horse will stand still incase he had to jump off to help us. Just for kicks he demonstrated it and the horse did not move.

The best sight of the whole ride was after we got off of the horses. Dena was telling them about the commercial I did for Cingular and one of the pulled out his cell phone to look it up. The next thing we see are 4-6 cowboys.

Studio Viagra


I just received a question on having artist block, or being un-inspired?

You may want to take some time off from working on your art and go do something fun and adventurous that will recharge you. Another thing would be going out and take photos that could trigger a fresh idea in your work.

Other things that might bring freshness to your art is sitting in your studio and just thinking about the work.
What is it saying?
What is it that you want to say?
What things around you can contribute to you and your work?
I am choking on this one, but look at other artist?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Men can Fake it Too

http://wjz.com/local/man.seizures.restaurants.2.1854609.html

This is a first a man gets a year in jail for faking seizures to get out of paying food bills. I faked seizures before, not to get out of doing stuff but to give people a better show.

I used to go to Camp Green Top and we would go into the town for the Fourth of July parade. The whole camp would take up a half of a block, so this was a new experience for their town. We were getting tired of being watch, word got around about faking a seizure. Being the spirit that I am, I took it upon myself to follow through. That was also the parade that the counselors tried to give me away to Miss Thurmont when she drove by.

I also faked one at a McDonalds too, when people what a show…

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Family Vacation 2010 (advetures)

We started on our journey at 12 a.m. on Monday morning, for most part we drove straight through. We did stop for about an hour for everyone to rest, or take a break from the car. Being that there were three different drivers everyone had there own techniques, even thou momma was not thrilled over that.
Our check in time was at 3 and we made perfect timing, because we arrived 10 minutes before the time. We rent our cabin from Cobbly Nob Rentals Villa, Gatlinburg, TN.
So Dena and I went in the office and took care of business. After riding around and driving up hills that Dena hated we found “our place”, as we are checking it out Brooke realized that it was not the cabin she picked. It’s back to the office to get things worked out. Good thing I took the reserve papers.
We did get the wrong cabin; it just so happens that when we made our reservations, there was a computer problem on the company’s end so the cabin was doubled booked. Being the problem was on their end and Dena handle it in a friendly why. The manager Doug gave us two options.

1. Upgrade the cabin at the same rate, but it would not be more accessible.
2. Keep the cabin and just get charged for the cleaning fees.
Dena and I choose the second option, with the money back; we could just have more fun and did we!!!!!! I know I said was going to draw at the cabin, but ended up not taking my supplies. This was for the best, besides the hot tub was not easy to get to.

The first day was not very exciting; Dena and I drove around town trying to find a bank to cash a check at. We finally decide to open an account at a bank on Dolly Pardon HWY. By the time we got back to the cabin it was kind of late, so we had dinner and watch movies.



Day Two:
Got up a bit later then planned, so Dena started to make calls and lined up activities for the week. Since we got a late start, we went rafting. We went to Big Creek Expeditions, http://www.bigcreekexpeditions.com/ as the van pulled up to river Dena and I realized we did the same river before. I sat right up front on my bum so I can use my legs to lock in. we went on rappets form class 1 to almost class 5. For those who have been rafting before, yes we did some surfing. Dena said it looked like I was drinking from a water fountain.

Day Three:
All of the locals kept telling us it was a must to go visit Cade’s Cove and see the wild life. Such as elk, bears, foxes so that meant an early morning. We got to the cove and there were nice sights of open fields and mountains that I enjoyed myself. The pay off came at the end of the drive, when a baby bear was 4 feet from the road and Dena got out for a picture of it.



Next we went to a “lazy” river ride, or that was what my honey bunny called it. It should have been a hint, when the three companies names were, Cowboy Tubing, The River Rat, and Raiging River. The second should have been climbing down to the river. All four of us started out fine, but I was the only one that didn’t fall off my tube. On the other hand I was the most scratch up from the fight to stay on my ride. The ride usually takes 1.5 hours, some how we took 4 maybe that was the lazy part.

Half way through I said I would rather be rafting class 5 then tubing. In rafting the idea is to stay in the raft and people are looking out for each other. I knew tubing was not for me, but if I did not go then everybody would back out.

Day Four:
Another kind of lazy start, but it’s vacation! The four of us went horse back riding at Five Oaks Riding stables http://fiveoaksridingstables.com/ I started out solo on the horse, but could not do it going on a trail. I was just sitting on the horse drench in my sweat. So I had a second rider go with me, he also gave me his bandanna.

There was a question if I could do an hour ride, but I did! My body might have been fighting to stay on the horse, but at the same time it became one with the horse. We had two real cowboys go with us, on their off time they even get bang up in the rodeo. The one riding with me said, “that is just a sacrifice you make doing what you love”. I could relate to that in my own work, people say one day my body will just give out on me from the abuse I put it through.

Day Five:
Our last full day and maybe our greatest adventure yet. Brooke, Matt, and I went for a zipline ride at Wahoo Zipline http://www.wahoozip.com/. It was exciting and relaxing at the same time, amazing enough my body was still during the time in the air maybe it was in shock. Every time I left the plate form it was like what the hell.

Since they guys had to carry me around and up each tower, I could not do the whole course. The head guide decided to refund our money.

The whole week we never heard, he can’t go or let me talk to our manager first. I stop going to the MD state fair since the first thing I would have to do is get permission to get onto the rides. In fact people were over generous from making any accommodation to our needs to giving us free stuff to mark each adventure.

MORE TO COME!!!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Family Man

We are taking a family vacation this summer. Of course being the artistic, hippy type we need to be different. That just makes it hard to find a place that fit all of our needs, to be a family and have accessibility.
We want to go stay at a cabin in the smoky mountains. It is not a problem finding a cabin that would fit all of us, but non that are accessible. The cabins that are accessible would only have one bedroom.
Now that I look it up again, I found accessible cabins with multi-bed room in the same price range. At least I will know for next time.
http://www.awesomemountainvacations.com/cabins.htm
http://gatlinburgcabins4u.com/98/handicap-accessible-gatlinburg-cabins/

Do You Remember These?


You are never too old to try new things. This weekend I went to my first 3D movie at the age of 37. I never had interest in going to a 3D movie. I knew using those paper glasses would be more frustrating then worth. This weekend we had the Greco kids and they wanted to see Despicable Me. It was very enjoyable because now they use real glasses frames.

This also reminds me when I first met my friend Mike in college. He asked me if I like Star Wars?

I replied I never got into it.

Mike thought I physically could not get in the movies.

Monday, June 21, 2010

My Plea For A Father Day Do Over

Last week I started to have a boil; it did not hurt just a lot of pressure. The redness and hardness went across the top of my thigh. But there was a head.
On Saturday Dena and Brooke were playing DR.
Brooke says it is a spider bite like I had. Go to Patient first, they will num it and then work on it.
Later that day Dena tried to pop it. Mostly blood was coming out.
So Sunday (Father’s Day) we went Patient First, they Dr. said it might be an ingrown hair and even though there is a head to it. It is not ready to pop and the hardness is from blood gathering. To prove this he stuck a needle in it and only got blood. But the Dr. did not do this quickly. So I am on antibiotics until Wednesday and maybe then it will be ready to pop.
Afterwards we went on our way and had a picnic at Loch Raven, as we arrived we get into a heated conversation that really had no beginning, end or could really get upset at each other for.
Later when got home Brooke and Dena called dad, this only compounded her fears over my boil. Since dad felt that he had to share his boil stories.
After all of this I did get a happy ending…

P.S.
As we were leaving the place, Dena said she could not handle the size of the needle. I’M THE ONE WHO FLIPPING FELT IT!!!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Evolving Too Fast?

The other day Dena and I went to a local hotel for breakfast, just because. It was very crowded and the only seat we could find was right in the middle of the place. Some of you may know how hard it is to get around dinning room tables that are full. So Dena goes up to the buffet.
The next thing I know is here comes a guy on a segway, I’m thinking no way. Then I notice a pony stick attach to the handlebars. So I started thinking, maybe he is disabled. The only table open is in the back of the dinning area. As the guy is making his way to table the staff ask if he could park the segway.
By this time Dena is back at our table and Dena could tell I’m getting itchy and they are in our direct sight. I see a disable sign under the seat of the segway. Dena does not, so I am the only one realize that this like a wheel chair to him.
I have more questions then answers, is there a new trend for using segways for the disabled? This is the second I have seen being use as a wheel chair. If so, should the disability sign be more visible, but does that but a label on the person? How can people be more educated with new trends for the disable?
The same goes when people find out I can use text on a cell phone.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

World of Possibilities Expo


This was the third year that we did the WOP Expo. It turns into mostly a way to reconnect with friends, although I display my art work and look to make networks for speaking engagements.
This year we took Fizz Jewelry; it was over whelming, we sold over a hundred pair of earrings. We were also joined by the Ellene “Brit” Christiansen Memorial http://britmemorial.com/; this is a fund that helps makes art accessible for the disabled.
The expo is always a nice change of paste, because I can just hang and still share some of my stories.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Off To Mohawk Valley Community College


Even if our destination is just an hour away, we should plan to take double the time to arrive there. Sometime this happens if we know there is a long drive a head of us. As I looked up the direction for MVCC, something seemed to be familiar about this route and sure enough it was. Mohawk Valley is about 30 minutes from Hamilton College; at the end of route 12 we made a left instead of a right.
To people in the area, route 12 is slow and boarding but to us it is a treasure chest. We stop every mile, or two in order to check something out, or at Wal-Mart to get an oil change and dinner. Then a gas stop that turned into a 45-minute scratch off stop. Dena and I really enjoy our time together and see other ways of living.
The next day was the presentation, but before that was a reception to recognize students and professor for out standing achievement for the school year. This is when I met Christina and her wonderful dog. Maybe she will help me get one of my own, not that I need a better one then Camden.
During the screening of the film we had the opportunity to hang in the green room with our host Mike, this was more entertaining. Also we stumbled on the drum that used to begin and end the speaking portion. We are always more interested in meeting the people that hang around after the engagement, most of the time that is when we get the real interesting questions.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Drawing Surface

I think I found a good way to draw that is good for my medium and my body. I paint sitting on a thick foam mat the size of a queen bed; it is too soft to draw on when I use my hands. I tried using a drawing board, but the size is limited and my knees just end up on the board. So that defeats the purpose of the mat. Also it is a little too hard to work with the medium.
Next I just put the canvas on the floor directly. This solved most of my problem, but ultimately it is too hard on my knees. The other day I went for a walk and someone was moving and had a for give away pile. I took a gym mat, it work better but still not enough padding for my knees. Today I tried the gym mat on top of the big one and its golden. My body is happy and I have a good surface to draw on. Talk about the princess and pea…

Saturday, April 24, 2010

KSU Engagement Follow-up


Last night I received this surprise from Adam Oglesbee Hi Dan, I know it’s been a while, but I thought I would let you know some good news. This evening, Kennesaw State hosted the Registered Student Organization awards banquet to recognize the achievements some of the 200 organizations have made on campus. ABLE was up for "Outstanding Global Awareness’ Activity." We were up a...against other organizations who had very good activities. Dan, you should know that you took home the award for that honor. I thought I would tell you. Dick Stafford and I will send you a copy of the award. Take care buddy and thank you for enlighten our campus with your presence.
I believe we got this award together, because Adam’s determination to seek me out.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Visit to McDonogh School


For the past few years I have had a standing invitation to go chat with the 4th grade at the McDonogh School. It started with an idea of Doctor Whiteford and her husband who works at the school. As part of Mr. Whiteford’s lesson plan the students read a book about a boy that can’t talk. To relate more to this story the student cannot talk for a day and have to use picture books as a way to communicate.
At the end of this lesson Dena and I go talk to the class that allows me to explain how life is with a disability. The students always of questions that most adults do not even ask. I believe if we are going to change societies’ out look upon disabilities, it starts with the youth.

Mentor Group at North Harford Middle Schools



A few weeks ago I was ask by my friend Gail’s mother to come and visit a mentor group that she works with. This turned out to be not your typical engagement; Phyllis and I kept trading emails about how we should proceed. Phyllis planned to show them the film before hand, but what should we do when I arrived. We came up with the idea of doing some painting together; I did this once before with a troop of Brownies and was quite successful.
I can say the same for this time as well, everyone was so focus on their work no one was talking. After we finished the pieces I let the kids give me interpretations’ of my piece, which were very insightful.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Is there a perfect roll/wall in shower?

Giving the fact that Dena and I do a lot of traveling for work and pleasure. We see many types of “accessible” bathrooms; some are tub with a seat and grab bar. For this I’m taking the full shower.
The two things that most hotel showers have in commend:

1. Water gets all over the floor and makes it slippery for everyone. Even if it is a shower unit.
2. If the whole bathroom/shower is tiled, the same tile is use all around. This makes everything slippery and makes it most frustrating.
This weekend we stayed at a red roof and they had the best idea for the drain. It was the whole length of the shower. The drain is made by zurn I could not find a picture of it. The floor still got a little wet, I also wonder if water remains in the drain between uses?
When my grand mom was in the hospice, I saw the non-slip flooring for bathroom. I really found it useful, it was in one piece in the whole bathroom.
I do not like wall-mounted seats; I have broken a few and most places but them too high. I do like the multi grab bars and multi showerheads.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

They say the first anniversary is paper

They say the first anniversary is paper, but I am going to make it electronic paper. I decided to look over our old love notes, before face book. First I want to play the videos while reading. Not to watch them, but for the music.

play while reading
This first is from our first V-day together; I typed it while you were still a sleep.

2/13/05
Dearest Dena,

I keep thinking why it took us so long to find each other in this wonderful way. Maybe we both had to pay our dues, is that is so god is so switched. On the other it could make us appreciate one another better.
I just keep hoping that I have what takes to keep full filling your life so you will want to keep me around. It seem like you have seen a lot of the world and have a huge desire for physical pleasure. So I hope you never feel a void due to me account.
In January when I started back to school, I realize that I have all now. Not only a successful career life, but also personally. If we keep arguing over the stuff that we do, damn we have great, since I think we argue over stupid.
I like that you make yourself at home in my place, it does not scare me at all. Or that we are coming back from Ireland with commitment. I love being with you, even at dinner just sharing our day and lives to together.
Love always,
Dan happy early valentenday

Looking back at our short time together, we have experienced more then most couples do in a life time. From see over half of this country and going international together. Our love life could be a segment on HBO’s real sex. We still argue over stupid stuff and sometime you do it on purpose to get my blood heated. I still conceder my self, lucky when I wake up next to you each morning. Although you will not admit it, you could have any guy and you choose me.

2/22/05
The next letter is from our first 6 month together. At least I think it is, because we did not have official starting date.

2/25/06
Dearest Bitha,

I hope I did not use up all of my good shit last week. It is hard to think that we have been together for six months. It has seemed to go by so fast from all of the laughter and the good times we have shared. Of course it cannot always be so good, maybe times like these are just a test to see it we really have what it takes to make a real go at this thing. As long as we keep talking things out like we have, I image we have a good shot.
We probably should be making a special evening of this anniversary, but we both know that timing is not right, but as long as we keep thinking about each other it will be a special day. There are many days that I just stop to think what a lucky man I am to have you in my life, I get all emotional.
Even through we will not be spending the night together, I will be laying in my bed smell your sent. While I think about your soft, warm skin on my body while we fall to sleep. I just want to say I’m deeply in love with you and thank you for the past 6 months and here’s to a 100 more 6 months.

Love always,
Cutie pie
Our joke is that we had to break up every 6 months to keep my streak alive. Since me other two relationships did not make it that far. Yes it could keep life saucy, but I was eager to end this curse.

Also this was a few weeks after V-day, so was thinking and used all my good stuff in that letter.

8/28/05
My dear Dena,

Here I sit ready to start the last leg of my education, like I am really thrilled about it. My thrill in life is you and brook. They say summers are full of fun, they past of sucked for us, but that was out of our control. I just keep the little treasures. Like the other day when you and I went to shorty’s, too bad we did not have a blanket to lie down. The other night when you cooking and brook and I were messing with her computer. I was like wow I can do this. There were times when I wanted to go crash at my studio, but you would want to do the something.

I really miss going out to have fun; my friend mike has been wanting to meet you from the start. I know this is only temporary, it still sucks sometimes. But the most important thing is that will are here to take care of each other, how many couple can say that!!!!

You will always be my and I will always be your!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love forever,
Dan

I am still holding you to the picnic and making babies.

Everyone thinks the start of a love affair is all good, but not when you put two hard heads together that are used to doing things their own way. We both brought out luggage and we had to sort it out. Even though people see it hard of us being a family, we have made it work. I always see that you and Brooke still your time.
You doubted your being with me, because of my lime light. Where I doubted myself as a parent roll, I still like to refer to myself as the other parent and not as stepfather. It just seems more like us, because we work as a team and non-conformists. It works for us.

9/30/06 just thinking of you
Dear honey bunny,

Went to school about 6, later then I planned. I should be an hour or 2, maybe you will me home. Was hoping for some quite time, Jacquie is having surgery tomorrow and would like us to hung out to night? Maybe we could do that bit, and then have dinner together. I took my phone.

I love you so much,
Dan

oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

2/22/06
My dearest Bichta,

What a crazy year we have with all of the turmoil we have had from the people the say they loved us. It would seem that the odds we against us and we would not last. Instead it has made our bound stronger and shows us that we are met to be together.

We have shared our good and bad times and we have fought though them together. Which only showed that we shared the same way life. That is what most couples have, they only see what they can do for each other, where as we see what one another can contribute to make life better for the other and as a couple.

You are my partner, friend, and sole mate to share everything for eternally.


Love forever,
Dan

You are my partner, friend, and sole mate to share everything for eternally.
You are my partner, friend, and sole mate to share everything for eternally.
You are my partner, friend, and sole mate to share everything for eternally.
You are my partner, friend, and sole mate to share everything for eternally.
You are my partner, friend, and sole mate to share everything for eternally.
You are my partner, friend, and sole mate to share everything for eternally.

5/14/06
My Dearest Bichta,
I miss you so much; here are 2 copies of the charley and the chocolate factory. It took me all this time to figure out how to do it.

Paul and shavon had the baby on Monday, if you couldn’t figure out the message. He was 8 lb.; see what you have look forward to. His shoulder was dislocated during birth, nut everything else it fine.

I fix your know iPod so we will have it for our trip. I call Jody, he came over last night to go out, and I was like lets eat here since you fix all this food. By the time we finished dinner it was 8 and he still wanted to go to damn Annapolis. I was like why. We stayed Jody had 2 bears and was wiped out so he went home. He said this time I had a good idea.
Since you have been gone I’m back to my old crazy “sleeping” patterns. I told Jody I don’t miss my single life, it really sucked. I love and miss you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!|
OXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX
OXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX
OXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX
Your Cutie pie

This must have when you went home. When we dating people did not realize that I was ready. I had my time to play and do what people had before they settle. I still do not miss go out. I am very happy staying home and enjoying each other emotionally and physically.

9/3/06
Chile a trip of a lifetime and you almost pasted it up. Or is that just your way of making the prize more remember able?






2/14/08
My Dearest Bichta,
These are the words that I think of when I dream of you.
Beautiful, fun, laughter, adventure, sexy, cupcake soft, huge boobs, caring, companionate, mothering, nice ass, thoughtful, giving, stressful, loving, nurturing, daring, strong, my strength/my weakness.
But most of all the love of my love.
Love
Your cutie pie

Just a matter of weeks before our big, I was just counting the days when we got in the car for our journey to begin the rest of our life together, we are at our best when the two of us work together as a team. We forget that time, and when it seems like. I really hope you enjoy your gift. I know it should be on, but do we really follow all of the rules? One last thing, what was in that conspiracy book?


The book of love is ancient much like this question.

Does art portray life or life portrays art?

You just listened to a song which delivers a beautiful melody yet when carefully observe the words they seem unfitting for the enchanting music. Welcome to our life.

We are honored to have you here tonight. Your company is a reward. We have family, friends, piers, community leaders, advocates and chance encounters that gives us a collection of wonderful karma. Many believe our union is complex but this network of loyal people makes our lives so simple.

8946 miles 19 kilometers was the distance between our origins. The beautifully crafted film "King Gimp" became the compass, which connected all the dots. I became a fan. A friend. A companion. A couple. A Fiancé'. Lastly, all the above until we turn weathered and grey.

None of this would have been possible, without intervention. Two film producers that never believed to sticking with the script but instead letting life tell it's own story. Bill and Susan have won the Oscar but I assure you their victory is much more personal. It is a nurturing relationship that they will be known best for. Thank you for being so devoted to the both of us.

Does art portray life or life portrays art?

Our answer....Who cares, just appreciate life and art.

Now let's close this silly ole book and get to the good stuff.

The good stuff is yet to come; we have 99 more years together. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lowes


I have been putting this off for almost a year, I do not know why? As many of you fellow gimps know, Medicare makes you choose between a manual, and a power chair. They do not see the social need for having both. But anyway I have had the same manual chair for say 17 to 20 years. When the sling seat would tear, I would take it to my local shoe repair store and have it sown back together. I did this about 3 times, until I went to present to a class of Put’s students. The professor puts my chair on the table and just rips it apart. I knew my chair was a piece of junk. The whole frame was bent from years of abuse and trips around the world. The class fitted me with a hard seat, not attached to the chair.
A few months later comes the excitement of the wedding, picking up people from airport and stuff. On one trip we retuned home and no seat is to be found. We left it in the airport garage, so it’s gone. Lucky we had an antique chair to use for the wedding.
The day after the wedding, my new father in-law was outside trying to rig a seat for my manual chair. It worked for 4 days. We were in Spring Field, IL. and the seat was a goner. So I said lets go to a hard ware store. So we found a Loews, their first ideal was to send us to a metal smith. We did not have that kind of $$$, or time.
My plan was to get a piece of plywood on hold it on with L shape brackets. Thank god we meant the right sale persons, they became a NASCAR pit crew. They cut the wood and screwed everything together.
Several months later I received a new, old chair with the help of Asha. Through her and class mates connections with the Delray Center. It might not be perfect, but this chair is better then what I was using.

Friday, March 19, 2010

My Fan VS Wild Submition


I should be on Man Vs Wild, because the everyday task is a challenge for me to do, due to me having Cerebral Palsy. I do not let my disability get in the way of anything. I have been skiing for 17 years and I spent a month touring Europe.
My taste for adventure started has a young child, when I jumped off our clubhouse, just to feel the freedom from gravity. This would bring a new adventure to my life, as well as to Bare’s and your show.

To most people adoptive skiing would be pretty extreme, but that seemed safe compare to my stop in Prague. First of all, I almost did not make it off the train and my friend all already got off. Lucky some other travelers help me off, before the train continued on its way. There were many times in Prague, when I had to climb stairs on my hands and butt. We were glad to end our stay in Prague, because it was hard on the body and my wheel chair kept falling apart from the bumpy cobble stone road. But was worth the visit.

Monday, March 15, 2010

KSU Engagement


All my life I have meant people that the connection is just there. For the third time Dick Stanford asked me to come to GA, this time to present at KSU. Since we were so close to FL. We just had to take the trip with Michael to WDW. Then Dena decided to bring her friend, Miss Julia that she takes care of. Given this as the case; we had to bring some help with us. So Pamela and T.C. were brought on board for this adventure. The drive the accessible van with 2 power chairs and all of the luggage.
We were lucky that Dick let us stay in his condo, a few blocks from Underground Atlanta. This condo was so beautiful and Olympians used it when the City hosted the Olympics. We really over stayed our visit, because the place was so comfortable.
Our engagement was at KSU it was so well done. They scheduled the reception before I spoke. It so happened to be in an area that hung a student art show from high schools from across that state. I was very impressed by the work that I saw. I also like the fact that they served virgin apple martinis instead the usual lemon aid.
I want to thank Adam for his hard work for making this event possible. He was the one who talk to Dick about having me come to the school. Adam also had research different resource of funding to sponsor my visit.
So who is that guy on top of me on the floor? That would be Carlton; he had me come speak at EU a year or two ago. We just hit it off, after that gig. We ended up going to a club until 3 a.m. then danced in the parking lot of the hotel. We had not seen each other since then, I just have no control even when the spot light is on me. From the Oscars to seeing old friends, when the king is happy everyone knows it.
Most of our trips are about meeting new people and learning how the film impacted them. This time it was about reconnecting with good friends and enjoying great times.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Is This 2010 Update

We just talked to the hotel manager in NC, he did apologized and saw that the stuff did make mistake, but had the right to be concern. The situation did get out of control and should have known we were quests when Dena walked in with our bags and dinner.

The hotel has already scheduled sensitivity training, but not with us, we offered our services. They of the option of using the everyday training service, or get an experience that people will remember for a lifetime.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Team Work Does Pay Visit To UNCC


Last week we had to travel in between storms for a speaking gig at UNCC. It snowed the night before we left on Wednesday, so there was no telling if we would get the early start as we wanted. Dena and I were on the road by 9 and did make any stops until NC.
About 2 hours into our trip, we saw a Volvo station wagon towing a plywood wonder breadbox. As we past him the back was full of puppets, so one could figure he was a clown. We honked our horn and gave him two thumbs up. The next thing we knew he putted on a clown nose. He could not keep up, so we went on our ways.
About 2 hours from our “hotel” we started to see signs for a big discount store and one sign is for cosmetics, so we decided to stop. I could tell Dena was disappointed with the selection, so we were back on our way. As we past one rest stop Dena sees the wonder bread wagon. To reach him we had to make a mile circle getting on and off at exits. Dena thinks what if he already got back on the road. He did not; he is a puppet master on his way to Martigra from Maine. We made his day catching him 4 hours later.
This engagement was a year in the making from the office of Student With Disability Service to their adviser committee. It sounds as is the student on the committee did most of the legwork. They did multiple fundraisers, even on the day of the presentation they were putting up signs to promote the presentation. They also set up the reception after ward and planned all of public relation before hand.
It just goes to show you what can be accomplished when people work together for a commond goal. I had one moment where one says I’m not the old, am I? The student that did the introduction said she watched King Gimp at the age of 10.
Dena and I what to stay another day to relax, but we had to race the storm him. In the pictures you can see what we had for breakfast. Ah the life of road worries.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

What a difference 48 hours makes.

Dena and I reached MD just as the snow started come down. We went to the market to get some food for the next few days. As we were checking out in was in front of Dena holding onto the cart with the food already bagged. Dena was busy paying and did notice.

The security guard at the market made the gesture to offer me help getting out side. I shook my head to say no, they turned my head to point to Dena. Without saying one word the guard knew whom I was with and that I was ok.

This happened 48 hours after the hotel, now who looks like the idiots?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

is this really 2010

I am going to share this story to express my frustration and use this as a learning experience. Trust me, I will see this through the King Gimp way!

I went to University of North Carolina-Charlotte for a keynote speaking engagement. We left early and arrived about 8 hours later. I have not been to the bathroom since we left. Dena dropped me off at the lobby and asked the door man where was the restroom was located. I went into the hotel independently and managed everything on my own. Dena then went to get dinner in the community. I sat in the lobby for few minutes to get my bearings. I moved twice to get out of the way because the lobby was crowded.

The doorman did ask me if he could show me to the bathroom?

I said no.

So I went to the bathroom, when I left the mens room the doorman past me and said, “there you are”!

I replied, “yeah”. This correspondence shows that communication was not a barrier between customer and the Bellman, how is it that this couldn’t be an example to ALL the staff.

An hour later Dena returns and doesn’t look happy.
This is the conversation that took place the moment she drove up to the hotel property.

Security-Are you with the man in the wheelchair?
Dena-you mean Danny? It is strange that you ask me in that term, is everything all right?

Security-What is his story?
Dena-His story…what do you mean?

Security-I mean, what is his disability?
Dena-Danny has Cerebral Palsy-why are you asking me this?

Security-Why doesn’t he have a caretaker with him?
Dena-Do you have a caretaker?

Security-No, but we are not talking about me.
Dena-Why do you think that Danny needs a caretaker? He is fiercely independent and the idea that you feel he needs one is passing judgment. Let me tell you something, Danny is probably more intelligent that you and I put together.

Security-Do you see where we are coming from here?
Dena-No!

Security-It looks as if someone just dropped him off and left him, we didn’t know if anyone was coming back and it looked like one of those circumstances that we didn’t know what to do with him.
Dena-I have been gone an hour to get dinner for us how are you to turn this around, you are OFFENDING me, I mean us. I need to speak to your Manager.

Security-It is my job to protect and see things through. We TRIED to communicate. We asked him if he was here with anyone, will anyone be back for him and if he had a care provider and he couldn’t answer to anything.

Security-You are lucky, we were minutes from having him “taken away”.
Dena-Stop speaking with me immediately I am deeply offended and will not speak with you at all.

We entered the lobby and had finished this conversation front and center. The lead Manager in charge, the Security Guard, Dena and I along with 60 + guests that were observing this dual.

They (Manager and Security Guard) said they were concerned. Dena asked were you so concerned that asked Danny if he were o.k. or if he needed anything or needed to call 911. This is what concerned people do, inquire the problem. Dena then asked me, “did anyone approach you to ask you any of these questions?” I said, “NO”! The whole hour no one spoke to me. We challenged their timeline and caught them in a lie. The Security Guard had told Dena I was incapable of corresponding to the questions that they had asked.

I made the statement I am here because the University invited me to be their Keynote Speaker, this event inspires others how to break these typical stereotypes. This can go away if you both come and participate. They both laughed it off.

They called the police; Dena and I were making our way out. The security was pushing people out of my way, as if I would run them over. I kept yelling I could do it myself, by this time I just wanted to explode. But it would just play into their hands. Dena and I are now out side, standing. Four police cars arrive all having attitudes because they felt it really wasn’t a “real problem”. One Officer said, “that you have no legal rights and it’s only a civil matter”. The Manager spoke up and said, “if the events got louder then we can press charges” the Police Officer agreed. Clearly, we couldn’t understand how a hotel had more legal backing over abrupt conversation and would have more protection then discrimination with the disabled. We were told to leave because you are still on ‘hotel property’. When we drove off they remained laughing, as if we were jokes. Let’s see if they are laughing in court.

I do not blame UNCC for any of this, in fact they already pulled out all of the college accounts with this hotel. They also offered to set me up with a local legal advocate, which I am doing. In addition, I will be working with my network of advocates and am weighing out all my options. I want freedom of speech and awareness to bring everyone in the mind set of 2010.